New businesses are welcome addition to downtown

Two new businesses have opened up in the city and I have had the chance to sample both. Not to my surprise, I have been left with more than just happy taste buds. I now have a small sense of fulfillment.

Why should I feel fulfilled? I had nothing to do with these new businesses, The Coffee Connection, 30 S. Broad St., and Ives Cream Parlor and Gourmet Coffee Shop, 10 S. Broad St. But I feel a sense of pride for the local entrepreneurs who stuck their necks out to follow their dreams in Norwich.

A while back I had written about how sad I was that downtown Norwich seemed to be diminishing. Local businesses were closing doors or moving out to the town where more is going on. I live in the city, and I love to walk out of my apartment and have options, and now I have a few more. And all because a few people wanted to take a chance.

Kristen Behuniak, co-owner of The Coffee Connection, gave up her teaching career to follow her longtime dream of running/owning a cafe. When I first heard her say that, I thought, ĎWow. Thatís pretty risky.í But after listening to her tell me of her desires, I felt like she was doing the right thing. And I felt grateful to have someone like her take that chance for the people of Norwich.

And then I got to spend some time with Katie and Alex Ives of Bainbridge. Now, I have to be honest, I was already friends with them before the scoop shop opened. But having them in Norwich and watching them start from the bottom up has brought me closer to them. They have taken an honest idea and made it into something great. And their ice cream is to die for.

But if you sit down and listen to Katie and Alexís heartfelt vision for the future of their business, you would understand itís more than just a way of making money for them. Itís a way of helping customers to see the good things in life.

Bringing business back to the city is something that everyone can benefit from, and Iím certainly happy to see a positive reception from the community. But Iím also glad to have been able to meet and understand the meaning behind their endeavors.

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